Just to follow up..
I’ve found that it is very easy to sort objects across CCSpriteBatchNodes using the follow method:
In the function AppDelegate::applicationDidFinishLaunching() add the following
then, at the beginning of the draw() function for CCSpriteBatchNode, etc, add the following
and at the end of the same function add
After those modifications are done the setVertexZ for sprites should work instead of using setZOrder. I usually scale my range values to within 1000, because much higher and stange things start to occur. Also, sprites sometimes have thin alpha “halos” because of the alpha testing.